(Yicai Global) Nov. 26 -- Chinese e-commerce colossus Pinduoduo is incubating its live-streaming-aided retail business and began its internal testing on its 'Haohuoneigou' app on Tencent Holding's ubiquitous WeChat messaging and payment platform on or around Nov. 24, technology online media 36Kr has learned from several sources.
The firm went on the record with a denial of this claim to 36Kr.
The company's co-founder Sun Qin will be in charge of the e-retailer's live-streaming business, one insider told 36Kr.
Recruitment websites also display telling information. Pinduoduo is scouting for online celebrity handlers, video makers and other live-streaming talent, according to the help-wanted website Beijing Lagou Network Technology operates.
The Shanghai-based e-emporium operator will first inaugurate its live-streaming app on WeChat by the end of this month, another insider said to 36Kr, adding consumers will see the Pinduoduo logo when settling up, since the app and Pinduoduo's internal shops link to one another in a connection platform operators and vendors can see, but which is invisible to buyers.
Pinduoduo will make the live-streams accessible to its branded merchants and online shops and will focus on garments, with cosmetics and personal and household products as adjuncts, a tactic similar to that adopted by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding's Taobao platform, 36Kr also learned from an insider.
Taobao has demonstrated the efficacy of selling goods via live-streaming. The e-commerce portal's turnover of goods sold via live-streaming topped hundreds of billions of yuan (dozens of billions of dollars) last year, with a 65 percent-plus customer conversion rate.
"Pinduoduo will try whatever vehicles [competitor Alibaba' Group Holdings cross-border e-commerce platform] Tmall has proven effective," another sector insider told 36Kr.
Pinduoduo, which rose to prominence through discount group buys of daily-use items, is reeling from a USD11 billion drop in its market cap last week. This rout came after its costs rose more than one-fold in the third quarter as it overtaxed itself pursuing the two-pronged strategy of hold rivals Alibaba and JD.Com at bay in its rural stronghold, while simultaneously assailing them in their urban redoubts.
Editor: Ben Armour